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Pakistan spirals into ever deeper instability

Issue No. 2116

With US and Nato casualties rising in Afghanistan, Pakistan is coming under yet more pressure to crack down on insurgents around the country's 1,500 mile border with Afghanistan.

US secretary of state Condoleezza Rice told journalists last week that Pakistan is not doing enough to stamp out Islamic militancy. Yet it is Pakistan's commitment to the US-led 'war on terror' that is creating deep instability.

Hundreds of thousands of people have been forced to flee their homes in recent weeks in the North West Frontier Province after the Pakistani military launched airstrikes in the region.

Former president Pervez Musharraf was finally forced to resign earlier this month. He was deeply unpopular due to his role as a key US ally.

The new government was brought to power on the back of expectations that this would change – yet many in Pakistan are bitterly disappointed to see the war continuing.

No politician will say the problem is the whole premise of the war itself. Under growing pressure from the US, the conflict looks set to escalate, dragging in more of the region into the bloody cycle of war.

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What We Think
Tue 26 Aug 2008, 20:58 BST
Issue No. 2116
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